"Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less. It is a trick, no more than a shadow on the wall," George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
I could not get this quote out of my head last week while attending our local association's conference and trade show. It was a great show, but it struck me that while we may believe that the power to educate in our industry lies within the USGA, the suppliers, the salesmen, the agronomists or the university professors... it lies in our hands as well.
We had a good speaker program. Presenters from across North America stopped by to share their knowledge of all things turf. By all accounts the conference was a success, and we learned more than a few things by show's end. But for me, the take away message was the inherent power we have as superintendents to educate ourselves.
Interestingly, in the opinion of many who attended the show, the best parts of the conference happened when a few of our own humble greenkeepers got up in front of their peers and told their stories.
By and large we are an educated bunch (spend some time on a few different turf blogs and you will see what I mean). We have graduated from some of the best schools in the world and are tireless in our pursuit of continuing education. We toil day in and day out doing the things we need to do to keep our turf healthy and our customers happy. Who better to share the stories that make us who we are? Who better to educate us, but us?
So next time your local show comes around, give it some thought. We all have a story to share, and I guarantee that your peers want to hear it. Sit in on a panel discussion or polish up a power point presentation and share your knowledge. You just might start the best discussion you have had in a long while, and even solve a few problems while you are at it. Hmmm... sounds a bit like another place I visit frequently...